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Red Ice

by Jean Follain

translated from the French by Phil Sugden

In 1812 in Russia
when the soldiers retreated
their strong wine froze
in among corpses
of men and horses
a pick-axe
had to cut shares
even for the dying
from the block of red ice
shaped like a casket
that no museum
could have preserved.

Jean Follain (1903–1971) was a French author who published nine books of poetry and one work of prose.

Phil Sugden graduated last year from Sheffield University in England. (Spring 1975)

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